The most recent hardware release from Google, the Pixel Buds Pro, aims to address a few problems that the re-released Pixel Buds had in 2022. Are they a significant improvement that merits a change? Here is all the information you require.
The new entry-level earbud choice from Google is the Pixel Buds A-series, and they are a fantastic purchase in and of themselves. They are a terrific companion with a number of significant upgrades over its 2020 equivalent, despite not being the audio product’s flagship. It’s unclear whether the issues led to the 2020 version of the Pixel Buds being dropped only last year, but we’d hazard a guess that they may have been a factor.
The premium audio device from Google for 2022 and beyond is the Pixel Buds Pro. Are they an improvement over the previous pair of such high-end earbuds from Google with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), vibrant colors, and a promise of a long battery life? Learn more below.
Hardware and design Comfort and fit Sound quality Functions and features Battery life and charging Pixel Buds Pro vs. Pixel Buds: Should you upgrade? Pixel Buds Pro vs. Pixel Buds Subscribe to 9to5Google on YouTube for more videos in a video
Equipment and design You need to be aware of a few significant design differences between the Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds Pro. The actual earbud design has altered significantly as a result of several internal audio and technological advancements.
On the Pro model, you’ll notice larger, bulbous casings, which is a significant difference from the dot-like design that the entire Pixel Buds series has become known for since going on sale back in 2017. As a result, the earbuds are bigger and slightly heavier (5.3g as opposed to 6.2g). Additionally, more of each individual earbud will stick out of your ears, but the change is barely noticeable.
The Pixel Buds Pro case has a bigger footprint than the Pixel Buds case since the earbud dimensions have increased. They appear to be nearly identical, at least up close. The Buds Pro case is rounder and flatter, though. Given that the case and earphones manage to weigh less than the 2020 Pixel Buds when combined, it’s unlikely that you’ll notice a significant difference. Nevertheless, this is a significant adjustment that is probably caused by bigger internal batteries.
Both variants of the Pixel Buds have an IPX4 grade for water resistance. Google has never disclosed the protection level for the Pixel Buds’ carry case, but the Pixel Buds Pro’s charging case has an IPX2 rating, which means it can withstand light wetness.
The elimination of the internal connection LED on the Buds Pro has also slightly altered the appearance of the casings. To replicate the Pixel Buds A-series charging cover, the exterior LED has also been shifted higher. The pairing button and the USB-C charging port are identical elsewhere.
Unfortunately, the Pixel Buds and Buds Pro’s supported codecs are the same right out of the box. SBC and AAC are supported, therefore high-resolution audio streaming is not currently supported. The brand-new LC3 codec ought to be available, but it will need the complete Android 13 update and might not offer the streaming bitrates or fidelity that many people desire.
Although audiophiles may probably hear a difference, these codecs are suitable for casual listening. Future updates are expected to include Spacial Audio, which will simulate 360-degree sound using the best headphones available. Additionally, a 5-band EQ for audio fine tuning is also coming later this year.
The Pixel Buds Pro’s Bluetooth connection strength has been significantly boosted by Google. The Pixel Buds A-series repaired disconnections and sporadic dropouts, and the Buds Pro improved Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connections once again.
CONFIDENCE AND FIT
The fit and seal of your ear canal are considerably altered by the change in earbud form. The Pixel Buds Pro’s ear fit may not feel as secure because the rubberized stabilizing fin has been removed. This is less of an issue with the proper silicone earbud tip, but the Pixel Buds definitely have the advantage in that area. Additionally, the 2020 model’s earbuds will fit your ears more comfortably.
The Pixel Buds Pro can still withstand significant head movement despite this adjustment, just like their predecessors could. The bigger size allows the earbuds’ primary chassis to rest on the inside of your ear when worn in settings like the gym or when jogging, assisting in the creation of a seal without the assistance of the stabilizing fin.
You need not worry about your ears getting congested as a result of the Buds Pro’s removal of the Spacial Vent. In-ear pressure relief software significantly lessens this sensation, however this has to be eliminated in order to enable efficient Active Noise Cancellation.
Although judging sound quality might be difficult, it is true that the Pixel Buds Pro’s audio is far better than the Pixel Buds. First off, the absence of Spacial Vent makes music less likely to leak and allows for lower listening volumes.
Because of the improved seal, everything sounds richer and the bass has more impact. The Pixel Buds had generally good, if a little bland, audio capabilities, but the Pixel Buds Pro have been improved in every way, making it enjoyable to listen to spoken word content in all genres.
Like all previous Pixel Buds, it appears that Google has made an effort to ensure audio quality, but doing so can make it difficult to enjoy some musical genres. Although neither the Pixel Buds nor the Pixel Buds Pro offer the finest overall listening experience, they make excellent companions for those who only listen sometimes. Later this year, a 5-point EQ will be available, allowing for some degree of fine-tuning to enhance the audio experience with the Buds Pro. The most recent model also doesn’t experience audio buzzing or hissing, which many users of the Pixel Buds and Buds A-series have complained about.
The Buds Pro’s ANC is reliable but unspectacular. Sharp, loud noises will be audible, but the air conditioner or traffic hum will be drowned out. However, unlike a set of over-ear headphones, which would be able to completely block out background noise, these are dampened enough to be noticeable. Of course, this is not possible with the Pixel Buds because they depend on a good ear seal to lessen ambient noise.
FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS
The Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds Pro’s features and functions have undergone significant improvements. The Pixel Buds’ Adaptive Sound, Bass Boost, and experimental Attention Alerts capabilities do not appear to be included on the Buds Pro. It’s unclear whether this is a temporary solution or whether these will be added to the Pro edition in a subsequent Pixel Feature Drop.
Swipes control volume, taps control playback, and both the Pixel Buds and Buds Pro use the same touch controls for calls and playback. In the Buds Pro settings, you may use the tap and hold gesture to change the ANC and transparency mode settings in addition to activating the Google Assistant.
Because ANC is present, you gain access to new settings, such as a Transparency mode that amplifies ambient noises as you watch or listen to audio. This guarantees that you’re always alert and may account for the elimination of the Attention Alerts experimental feature.
The brand-new Multipoint feature on Pixel Buds Pro may be appealing if you own multiple Android smartphones or both professional and personal devices. You can pair your Buds Pro with two devices simultaneously thanks to this Bluetooth accessory, which is nothing new. Depending on the situation, the Buds Pro will automatically switch between each device. For instance, if media is initiated or if you get a call. It’s a fantastic extended function when combined with Fast Pair for speedy device connections.
CHARGING AND BATTERY LIFE
Even with ANC turned on, Google has made significant improvements to the battery life of the Pixel Buds Pro over the Pixel Buds. According to our observations, the longevity is at least 1.5 times that of the previous generation and can be increased even further by turning off the ANC function.
The carry case gives the Buds almost five full charges, but Google claims that the Buds Pro may last up to 20 hours between charges because of their longer base lifespan. According to our observations, the longevity is slightly exaggerated but is nonetheless pretty close to the 11-hour rating with ANC activated.
Both Bluetooth earbud pairs charge in the same way. There are various chargers that use USB-C or Qi wireless technology, such as the Pixel Stand. After putting on charge either pair of earphones, you’ll have several hours of listening time in less than an hour.
Should You Upgrade From Pixel Buds to Pixel Buds Pro?
Regarding upgrading: 9to5
Google frequently makes suggestions for particular products. Due to numerous factors, such as increased device cost, insignificant performance increases, or environmental impact, we may occasionally advise against updating. Although the choice to upgrade is always yours, we want to give you all the information you need to make an informed choice.
Many people have a good reason to consider the Pixel Buds Pro because of the Pixel Buds’ sporadic connectivity problems. It’s also a no-brainer if all you want is ANC. Another thing to keep in mind is that since the Pixel Buds have been officially retired for more than a year, they are frequently offered at steep discounts. Unfortunately, given the number of complaints and problems, it is difficult to suggest purchasing the earphones.
Even though the Pixel Buds Pro cost $199 , they are reasonably priced compared to many other ANC Bluetooth earphones made by other companies. Thanks to Google’s efforts, they are a fantastic partner for just about any Android phone thanks to their Fast Pair and Multipoint features. If you’re willing to spend more, you’ll get a reliable set of Bluetooth earbuds with good battery life, respectable sound quality, and practical functions. The upgrade might definitely be worthwhile for people who already own Pixel Buds.